We’re not rid of Nijenborgh 4 just yet

It’s unclear whether the court case concerning the Feringa Building will delay construction. But even if everything does go according to plan, we probably won’t be rid of Nijenborgh 4 any time soon.
By Christien Boomsma / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The researchers at Nijenborgh 4 eagerly await the new Feringa Building; their current digs are hopelessly outdated. Climate control is a mess, the pipes are too old, and there’s asbestos in the building. The RUG had plans to demolish the building as soon as the modern Feringa Building was finished in 2023.

But the chances of this actually happening are rapidly shrinking. The Faculty of Science and Engineering still needs a solution to the five or six thousand square metres of room they’ll still be lacking even after the Feringa Building is finished.

‘We can’t start construction on yet another new building. That means we have to fall back on figuring out what to do with Nijenborgh 4’, says Dick Veldhuis, the faculty’s managing director.


Veldhuis thinks one or two sections of the building will remain. They might also keep some lecture halls to make up for the lack of teaching space.

These are all just ‘deliberations, Veldhuis says. But it’s clear the fast-growing faculty has to do something to make sure their educational and research efforts can continue undisturbed. Since there are currently no plans for any new buildings, the RUG is facing structural budget cuts of ten million euro as set out in the Van Rijn report, and constructing a new building can easily take ten years, Veldhuis says it’s ‘almost inevitable’ that they’ll keep using part of Nijenborgh.

The building will need some severe renovations, because upkeep on the space has been lacks over the past few years. ‘We’re currently using stopgap measures to make sure it’s a safe environment for staff and students’, says Veldhuis. ‘Should the board of directors decide to keep using the building, we need some structural renovations to make sure it’s appropriate for use for another couple of decades.’


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